Le Monde reported on Tuesday that the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron was targeted for potential surveillance on behalf of Morocco.
French newspaper Le Monde, a part of consortium of 17 media houses across the world publishing the stories about spying of journalists, politicians, activists, ministers and government officials using Israeli spyware Pegasus, reported on Tuesday that the phone of French President Emmanuel Macron was targeted for potential surveillance on behalf of Morocco.
What does the report say?
If the revelations about Macron’s phone were true, they would be very serious, the French Presidency said.
According to sources, one of Macron’s phone numbers, which he had used regularly since 2017, is on the list of numbers selected by Morocco’s intelligence service for potential cyber-spying, Le Monde reported.
Denying any involvement in using Pegasus, Morocco had issued a statement on Monday, rejecting what it called “unfounded and false allegations”.
Moroccan King and family also spied on?
Radio France, separately on Sunday, reported that Moroccan King Mohammed VI’s phone, as well as “a large number” of Moroccan royals, were also on a list of numbers of people identified as potential Pegasus spyware targets by Morocco’s intelligence services.
It said they included the king’s wife, Lalla Salma Bennani, his cousin, Prince Moulay Hicham Alaoui – nicknamed the “red prince” for his progressive views, a former son-in-law of the late King Hassan II, entrepreneur Fouad Filali, and Hassan II’s former bodyguard, Mohamed Mediouri, who is the current king’s stepfather.
Amnesty international calls out NSO
In a statement, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnes Callamard said: “The unprecedented revelation that the phones of at least fourteen heads of state may have been hacked using NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware should send a chill down the spine of world leaders.
“NSO Group can no longer hide behind the claim that its spyware is only used to fight crime – it appears that Pegasus is also the spyware of choice for those wanting to snoop on foreign governments.”